Pete Mackanin and his coaching staff met for four hours on Friday afternoon with the Phillies front office as they evaluated the season. The conversations were frank, Mackanin said. And the meeting gave him an idea of how the Phillies will tackle the offseason.
"I know we're definitely going to upgrade somehow," Mackanin said. "Whether it's from within or go out and get somebody via trade or even a free agent, depending on who's available and if it makes sense. We're going fulfill our needs. We have to get better next year. We have to show improvement. And hopefully the moves we do make result in more wins."
The manager has been adamant this season for the team to acquire one or two "professional hitters." This season's free agent market is not rich. The Phillies have almost unlimited resources, but perhaps they would be better off waiting a year to spend their cash. A more likely scenario would be a trade, similar to the move the Phillies made last winter with Houston in dealing Ken Giles. The team could identify another young player viewed as an expendable asset.
"I would like to get a good solid proven hitter somewhere on the field. Where that is right now will be determined by who is available and what kind of a deal, if any, they could make," Mackanin said. "And if not we'll try to find something from within that we think can help us or somebody could make a great impression in the spring. There's so many ways to do that. There might be somebody we never even thought of at this point that might enter the picture and give us a boost."
That professional hitter could be an outfielder - certainly a position of need - or it could cause the Phillies to get creative. In the meeting, Mackanin said, the group discussed if any player could move to a new position if they had to make room for a new addition.
"If we could find a third baseman and move Franco some to first base, I'm just conjecturing at this point, or find a corner outfielder or a first baseman," Mackanin said. "We have to determine if we want to do that. Do we want to move a guy off a position and not play that guy and, that's what it was all about today, trying to figure out, 'Well, this guy may be available, but we don't want to move Franco out of third base,' or whatever goes on down the line. So there's a lot of homework to do."
Righthander Phil Klein will start for the Phillies on Saturday afternoon against Bartolo Colon. Klein excelled in triple A, but has allowed nine earned runs this season in 62/3 innings with the Phillies. . . . Saturday's game will start at 1:05 after it was moved from 7:05 for national television.